Who is Étienne-Emile Baulieu, the explorer and resistance fighter who was awarded the highest Legion of Honor?

BERTRAND GUAY / AFP French physician and biochemist Etienne-Emile Baulieu is pictured at the National Institute for Medical Research (Inserm) section of the Kremlin’s Bicetre hospital, October 2, 2008, near Paris.


Biologist Étienne-Emile Baulieu is the only person to have been awarded the Grand Cross, the highest distinction for his career as a doctor and researcher, this Sunday, January 1. (Photo: French physician and biochemist Etienne-Emile Baulieu is pictured at the National Institute for Medical Research (Inserm) section of the Kremlin’s Bicetre hospital, October 2, 2008, near Paris.)

SCIENCE – “I am a doctor practicing science. » It is with this sentence that the biologist Étienne-Émile Baulieu regularly introduces himself to the media, the only person who has been elevated to the Grand Cross among the traditional promotion of the Legion of Honor announced today, this Sunday, January 1. of the year. “A very modest summary to describe the journey of a brilliant doctor known worldwide for his invention. pill next day”.

When he was born in Strasbourg in 1926, he was given the name Emile Blum. He grew up in a family of Jewish doctors. His father, Professor Léon Blum (the namesake of the socialist politician), a nephrologist and diabetologist, died when his son was only three years old. France information. It was not until World War II that he received the name Étienne Baulieu after a year of fighting against the occupier as part of the Front Patriotique de la Jeunesse when he joined the Resistance in Grenoble in 1942.

In December 1944, when the war ended, he entered the Faculty of Sciences and then the Faculty of Medicine under the name of Étienne-Emile Baulieu, according to the institute’s online biography of Professor Baulieu. Then his scientific career was launched, he successively became a Doctor of Medicine in 1955 and a Doctor of Science in 1963. He was also a long-time research director at Inserm and taught biochemistry at the University of Paris 11 for twenty years.

The pill that split French society

What really marked his career and made him known to the general public was his research on contraception. In 1982, shortly after the Veil abortion law and the legalization of birth control pills, he developed the pill RU486. “It will deeply divide French society”explained in front of his microphone French Culture In 2017.

now” morning after pill has indeed revolutionized the lives of millions of women, but will infuriate anti-abortionists. This pill prevents invasive surgeries for women”Indeed, in the late 1980s, it sparked strong religious and political opposition, as Professor Baulieu of the Institute explains.

In 1989, Cardinal Lustiger, a prelate of the Catholic Church, told him, for example, ” human pesticide, still relevant France information. When Professor Lejeune announced this invention on television that year “More deaths than Mao, Hitler and Stalin combined”.

Fight aging and Alzheimer’s disease

Professor Baulieu Institute also recalls that the intervention of the then Minister of Health, Claude Euis, was necessary for the pills to be placed on the market. Then he said, “ Great Britain is a spiritual treasure for women “. ” The molecule was held hostage for ideological reasons. Women have asserted themselves since then, but patriarchy has not disappeared, you know that.” In September 2022, again in France Info, Étienne-Émile Baulieu commented.

This battle is not the only one he will fight, and it is not the last of his life. His work now focuses on anti-aging. In this case, his research object is DHEA, a hormone that occurs naturally in the body and is used for the synthesis of sex hormones. anti-aging star Since 2000. In addition, he works with the Inserm team “On an Original Approach to Better Understanding, Preventing, and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Senile Dementias”gives detailed information about his institute.

At 95, Étienne-Emile Baulieu is in great shape. He made a deposit France information its miracle and natural remedy to prevent aging: daily walk, regular sleep and a daily glass of red wine.

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